There are many symptoms that come with TMJ disorder. Unfortunately, most of them are common with other illnesses. So how can you tell if a bad bite is causing the problem? Here are some quick tests you can do yourself to check the possibility of having a TMJ disorder.
1. Posture. Do you generally hunch your neck forward? That can be a signal for an obstructed airway due to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
2. Neck & Shoulder Pain. Make sure that you ears are aligned with your shoulders when you try this. Tilt your head all the way to the left, trying to touch your left shoulder to your left ear. Do the same for the right side. Did you feel pain while doing the stretch? You neck and shoulder muscles might be fatigued from TMD.
3. Jaw Clicks. Place your fingers on the side of your face, just in front of your ears. Slowly open your mouth as wide as you can. Did you feel a clicking of the joint? Clicking jaws are not normal, let me repeat NOT NORMAL. That is an almost sure sign of TMJ Disorder.
4. Knuckle Test. Open your mouth to as wide as you can. Clench your fist. Try sticking in as many knuckles as you can. A healthy jaw should be able to accommodate three knuckle bones without a problem – and with no pain or strain to the surrounding muscles.
5. Side Profile Check. Take a photo of your face from the side. Draw a line from the tip of your nose to your lips. In a healthy jaw, there will be a 5-degree angle between this line and a vertical line from the nose. When this is more, the you might have a shorter lower jaw, which can be the cause of sleep apnea.
These tests can help check the possibility of TMD, but results will not be conclusive. To get a proper diagnosis, consult your dentist or a TMJ specialist. They will also be in a better position to provide treatment options for your jaw or bite problems.